At Walker Smith Body Shop of Snellville, we love everything with a motor and a set of wheels. Since we are collision experts, we also see a lot of damaged vehicles. We know how dangerous a vehicle can be! Thankfully, automobile manufacturers have made some great strides in improving vehicle safety. Let’s take a look at statistics for two safety innovations that we take for granted these days.

Even though seat belts are, without a doubt, the most important safety improvement in vehicles…   Even though we have heard PSA’s, police officers, and our mama tell us to buckle up… There are still an estimated 45 million (honest) Americans who admit they don’t click it consistently. That is about 17% of the population.  That is way better than the stat from 1994, when only about 58% of Americans said they remembered to use a seat belt.

Sometimes we just want to be cavalier. Or maybe we are just careless. Or maybe it is just 7:00 AM, we are barely starting to get a coffee tickle, rush hour traffic is a mess, and it is all we can do to stay off the texting machine.  The National Safety Council offers the most important statistic in this article: People who wear seat belts are 50% more likely to survive a crash than those who do not. Hopefully that will help us remember!

The other innovation, of course, is the airbag. It has been required in front and passenger seats since 1998. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics suggest that airbags have saved about 28,000 lives. One statistical study in 2005 contradicted this, suggesting that airbags may have a neutral impact on safety.  Most experts say that airbags are a supplemental safety device. They work best when combined with a seat belt. Airbags have caused a few injuries and fatalities, but many were in the early days of airbag development. Now, manufacturers have made improvements. But they still suggest that children under the age of 13 should not sit in the passenger seat.

From auto experts at Walker Smith Body Shop in Snellville, to your family, we hope you buckle up, follow the airbag rules and stay safe on the roads!